|One Semester in the Life of a Physically Disabled College Student: Top Ten Lessons from Spring 2011|
Tom is enjoying a well-deserved summer break and I thought I'd close out this first semester at his new four-year college with a few "lessons learned" that are useful to all:
1 - Especially on a big campus, make sure the Disability Services folks get to know you well early on. If close by, it's a good idea for parents to be well acquainted with this department, too.
2 - Make friends with whomever is most knowledgeable about your tuition issues (VR, state scholarships, Pell Grants) at the Bursar's office.That person is an invaluable resource.
3 - If the courseload looks or feels too heavy, it probably is.
4 - Always do the extra credit.
5 - Treat the syllabus as your "Bible" -- read it daily.
6 - Know yourself, what you can do and what you want -- don't measure yourself against others.
7 - Parents: unless you pay no tuition, offer no room and board and don't assist your student in any way, be certain to get the passwords that allow you access to the student's grades and tuition account records, online. You are not entitled to this information by law, so make sure your student understands that you need access to these records.
8 - Request and use every academic accommodation for which you've been approved (i.e. notetakers, extra time on exams, etc.) in every class.
9 - Do all the reading listed in the course syllabus. The prof may or may not discuss it, but it will probably show up on the exam
10 - Remember: success comes as good grades or a good job, but also and more long-lasting, as personal growth, self-knowledge and an awakened interest in learning.
Hope your school year went well!